How did the tourism industry respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

(CNN) – From business sports to Hollywood to food and drink, many industries have announced boycotts, bans and other forms of punishment against Russia in response to its aggression. To Ukraine.

Now, the travel industry is starting to work.

Cruise lines, including celebrities such as Carnival, tour operators and various industry organizations have announced plans to close upcoming cruises in Russia and also secure the participation of Russian companies in their business.

These developments come as air travel unrest continues, as the European Union, Canada and Moscow issued air bans this week. In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced the US closing his heavens on Russian planes.

Not surprisingly, Russia’s tourism industry is responding in a similar way. On Tuesday, its Federal Tourism Agency told its citizens to avoid visiting countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia and told tour operators to stop shopping. of trips to those lands.

Nowadays, many famous tourist attractions and monuments glitter with the yellow and green colors of the Ukrainian flag, capturing the moment from major protests around the world. On a smaller scale, at least one major travel destination – the Kayak Directory – has incorporated Ukraine’s national colors into its digital logo.

The impact of these moves on Russia’s tourism industry, which brought in about $ 84 million in 2019, remains to be seen. Now, some industry leaders say it’s important to show collective support.

“Most tourism companies, including us, see our mission as a global ambassador for cultures,” said Catherine Chaulet, president and CEO of Global DMC Partners, a company of travel companies. independent traveler, told CNN Travel via email. “During the war, it was more important to share the history, assets and stories of those affected. We have a greater responsibility today to share and defend the victims. what unites us, not what separates us. “

Here, take a look at some of the highlights of the day.

Trips ended

A long film is shown at night in central Moscow in December 2021.

A long film is shown at night in central Moscow in December 2021.

YURI KADOBNOV / AFP on photo shoots

Famous lead writer Rick Steves is one of the top names in the industry sharing the news about his travel company, Rick Steves ’Europe, which is canceling all trips with a holiday and Russia.

Steves announced the decision on Feb. 24 blog post called “Comrades No More,” writing, “Our mission at RSE is to help Americans get to know and understand our neighbors through travel.

Another leading travel provider, Toronto -based G Adventures, has taken its own answer. Instead of canceling trips and resting in Russia, the tour operator will not accept books from Russian travel companies or Russian citizens as a customer ”for the future, ”G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip told CNN Travel.

“The goal of retribution, the goal of the world coming together, is to get into the country,” Poon Tip said. “So, as a business, we need to [all] do our parts. “

In 2019, G Adventures had more than one hundred tours that included holidays in Russia; all of these gifts have been removed from his site. The company announced the news by email to employees and customers Tuesday evening. “I have always said that travel is the fastest way to peace, so I am heartbroken when it comes to this,” Poon Tip wrote in an email., an Oslo -based travel research site, has announced that it is blocking books and information from Russia from its website, a move by CEO Jason Eckoff who claims his colleagues to work with. “I call on all international organizations to join us in dedicating everything related to Russia to their own service until the end of this war. not terrible, “Eckoff wrote somewhere LinkedIn for.

Other manufacturers are making similar moves. Charles Neville, sales manager for JayWay Travel, a provider of regular tours in the U.S. to some Eastern European destinations, told CNN Travel that it does not advertise and book trips to Russia. Ukraine and Belarus.

In addition, trips to those countries account for less than 5% of the business, Neville said, and the company has always been with customers who previously wrote about it. options for postponing and rescheduling their trip.

Even more difficult, however, is the difficult problem of JayWay Travel re -launching the trip to Russia – a very difficult task for companies that have employees with prior knowledge and family history of oppression. terrible kingdoms.

“We are partners in Ukraine and [local] suppliers there are doing this right now, and for them, forgive me for saying, ‘Argue with Russia, why do we send people there?’, ”Neville said. . “I think it’s a negotiation a lot of travel companies have to have. I think there are very few companies that send people to North Korea. Is that where Russia ends up?”

The cruises were resumed

The Hermitage State Museum and the Winter Museum are some of the attractions that will attract visitors to St. Louis.  Petersburg.

The Hermitage State Museum and the Winter Museum are some of the attractions that will attract visitors to St. Louis. Petersburg.

Julian Finney / photojournalist

Cruise liners are among the first cruise companies to announce the return of cruises with holidays in Russia, with key players including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Viking and Carnival Corporation, the parent company of cruises. nine shipping lines.

Other tools available announce similar changes to join Atlas Ocean Voyages, a new player in the industry, MSC and boutique brand Sea Cloud, Colleen McDaniel, managing director of Cruise Critic, a web consultant in the cruise industry, told CNN Travel via the email.

There are many itineraries with St. Petersburg, once known as Russia’s “cultural capital,” according to its tourist attraction, will attract about 10 million visitors in 2019.

Returning voyages to avoid damage or to the places where the fighting started in order to keep passengers and sailors safe is common in the shipping industry.

However, the recent move from Russia also reflects a decision -making situation: Carnival Corporation, for example, ended its advertising on February 26, that is. it was done on Twitterwith the words “We stand for peace.”

McDaniel spoke about the economic benefits of cruise ships. “This reflects what we’ve seen on our board and the website as well, with visitors showing that they talk with their money,” he said.

However, Royal Caribbean International, which owns Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Silversea, on Tuesday announced the cancellation of its flights and holidays in Russia, confirming a statement. and RCI to CNN Travel via email.

Saga Cruises and Hurtigruten Expeditions are the two ships scheduled to call on Russian ports this summer and are continuing to monitor the situation, according to McDaniel.


The flags of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag on March 1, 2022.

The flags of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag on March 1, 2022.

STEVEN SAPHORE / AFP on Getty Images

At least one Eastern European tourism company has done well on the popular hashtag #StandWithUkraine. ANTRIM, a non-profit organization that specializes in Moldova’s tourism industry (sharing its nearly 760-mile eastern border from Ukraine), posted on Instagram to provide for the provision of hotels, lodges and restaurants for the entry of refugees fleeing the war.

“Dear Ukrainian residents [sic], we stand with you in these difficult times. Serious events in your country have forced you to cross our borders. We hope you will please the borders and boundaries of our country, “the office wrote, referring refugees to its website or the visitor information center in Chisinau. of the land.

Airbnb also announced plans Monday to offer independent building up to 500,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Greece’s Special Minister, Vassilis Kikilias, meanwhile, announced plans this week to open 50,000 jobs in tourism to Ukrainian refugees or Greek migrants.

Other signs of unity with Ukraine can be seen in tourist attractions around the world.

On Friday, as Russian troops moved into the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, many of the world’s most famous monuments were illuminated with the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag. Among them: The Empire State Building of New York City, the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower, and the Colosseum of Rome.

In Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate shone with the blue-and-yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag over the weekend. And on Sunday, more than 100,000 people marched around and across the famous German state during one of the biggest protests against the Russian invasion.

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